How (not) to win friends and influence people E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

You know who people love? Cops that’s who. Not that you’d ever get a cop to believe or admit it. Yet time and time again when asked about the way they feel about the guys and gals in blue, Americans overwhelmingly express their approval. Along with the military, police enjoy an approval rating in excess of 80 percent according to credible poling outfits like Gallup.
You know who people hate? Well yes, they do in fact despise Congress, the media and the IRS. But they really hate unions. Flip the police officer approval ratings and you get police union ratings- somewhere in the 10-20 percent range.

Now to be sure it’s not just police unions that Americans despise, it’s unions of all stripes. The labor movement that brought us goodies like the five-day work week, overtime and collective bargaining and is largely responsible for the emergence of an American middle class is now about as popular as crap-flavored ice cream.

And stuff like this isn’t exactly moving the ball in the right direction.

According to a recent article from KMBC News in Kansas City, people convicted in Missouri municipal courts for ordinance violations, such as driving too fast or playing music too loud, soon could be forced to cough up another $3. Why? The pension fund needs more money.

The money is expected to raise at least $1.5 million annually and will be used to help replenish the pension fund of roughly 150 retired Missouri sheriffs as well as their spouses The Kansas City Star reported.

Earlier this month the state told judges in more than 575 Missouri municipal courts to start collecting the money from every violator they see.

The surcharge has sparked outrage from some of those judges.

"It's really ugly," said Frank Vatterott, a lawyer and part-time municipal judge in Overland. "We have poor people in our courts."

Vatterott says he’ll challenge the surcharge in court.

Other municipal judges worry that additional surcharges could be added, bumping $50 traffic tickets to $150 or more.

"Where does it stop?" asked Garry Helm, a lawyer and a part-time municipal court judge in several eastern Jackson County communities.

Maybe there’s a compromise here. They could knock the surcharge down to a buck-fifty and maybe some of the sheriff’s spouses could work part time as reserve deputies or something.


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